Pope Francis’ Message for the World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly is released

The Vatican has today, Thursday 15 June, released the Pope’s Message for the Third World Day for the Grandparents and the Elderly which will be celebrated on Sunday 23 July 2023.

The message can be viewed here as a PDF with a beautiful illustration of the Visitation which is central to the Holy Father’s message.

You can also read the message in plain text below.

Welcoming the message, Catherine Wiley, Founder of the CGA said, “The message landed early this morning and I found myself utterly transfixed by the wonderful imagery that Pope Francis has shared with us as he speaks about the joy of friendship between the young and the old, the joy of friendship that Mary and Elizabeth had – young expectant mother to older expectant mother.

“Pope Francis also asks that the ederly never be cast aside – not just because they have much love and wisdom to share with younger generations but because it’s God’s plan that spans past, present and future. He said, ‘It embraces and connects the generations. It is greater than we are, yet includes each of us and calls us at every moment to keep pressing forward.’

“Pope Francis has the young and the young at heart on his mind at this time as he prepares for the World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly in July which will almost immediately be followed by World Youth Day in Portugal. Grandparents across the world always have the intentions of their grandchildren close at hand and included in their daily prayers. We will praying for all of the young people attending World Youth Day. Pope Francis has asked us to! He has also asked the young people to visit their Grandparents before they set off for WYD.

To you, the young who are preparing to meet in Lisbon or to celebrate World Youth Day in your own countries, I would ask: before you set out on your journey, visit your grandparents or an elderly person who lives alone! Their prayers will protect you and you will carry in your heart the blessing of that encounter. I ask you, the elderly among us, to accompany by your prayers the young people about to celebrate World Youth Day. Those young people are God’s answer to your prayers, the fruits of all that you have sown, the sign that God does not abandon his people, but always rejuvenates them with the creativity of the Holy Spirit.

“We are grateful to the Holy Father for the gift of the World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly. As he says in his message, the day ‘is meant to be a small but precious sign of hope for them and for the whole Church’. 

The Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life has also prepared some pastoral resources now that the message is available. You can link to that here.

The CGA’s own resources will be available here.